Q: When can I re-apply for a “skipped” H-1B visa?
A: Because of a glitch in the system, certain visas, mostly in India, were “skipped,” putting other people in front of those that should have been scheduled. For those “skipped” visa cases, you should have already received a response with a date for your new interview. If you have not been notified yet, you may submit a request to expedite your case to NVCExpedite@state.gov.
Q: How long will students have to wait for their visa appointments?
A: Student visas have been limited since COVID, particularly in areas where the US Embassies and Consulates remained shut down. Because of this delay, first-time and refused students continue to wait for their approval interviews. As of right now, all available appointments have been filled for January and February 2023. Still, cancellations occur, so continue to check the US Embassy website for openings. You may need to discuss deferring your start date if you don’t already have an appointment for your visa interview.
Q: Are H-1B interview appointments open yet?
A: Over 200,000 appointments were opened to applicants recently and filled nearly as quickly. Because of processing delays and the reduced number of Embassies and Consulates completing interviews, these openings are limited. As the opportunities become available to the staff, more appointments will be released.
Q: I was offered a “dropbox” appointment to renew my H-1B visa. What is that, and should I accept the appointment?
A: Certain H-1B applicants and beneficiaries are permitted to use an interview waiver, otherwise known as the “dropbox system.” This reduces the wait time for your interview and decreases the workload on USCIS. If you’re already an H-1B applicant and you’re applying in your country of nationality, you can safely accept the dropbox interview appointment. However, if you have to leave your current country to return to your home Consulate or Embassy, it’s best to conduct your interview in person where you are currently.
Q: Is COVID still affecting interviews?
A: Yes and no. While most places are back to mostly pre-COVID status, the delay has impacted the processing times around the world. Some interview appointments that were canceled because of the pandemic are still waiting to be rescheduled. Other visa classes, such as F, continue to be on hold in certain countries. Additionally, regulations from the United States require adults over 18 years old coming from designated countries to be fully vaccinated, carrying proof of their vaccination status on them. Check with your Embassy to see if your country of origin is on that list when you apply for your visa, as the list changes.
Q: Is the H-1B visa program still accepting new applicants with the Biden Administration?
A: The political climate of the US does play a role in how welcoming the country’s policies are toward foreign workers. Currently, the H-1B visa program continues to accept new beneficiaries. However, there is legislation in place that could change how USCIS handles approvals and denials. Your immigration attorney can help you understand how these changing regulations may affect your visa application.
2023 is here, and with it comes many changes for visa petitioners and holders globally. You have questions, Visa2US has answers. Our legal experts are available 24/7 to discuss your situation with you and offer suggestions to help you get to the US or hire foreign workers to fill your specialty occupation.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. When filing for an H-1B visa, time is crucial as deadlines come up fast. Let us help you take the next step to forward your career with an H-1B visa.